Thursday, September 17, 2009

The last 10%

Let's lead off with the ridiculousness that I absolutely have to get off my chest: my running anecdotals on William's behavior! Here is just a small sampling of "Things William Does All Day" --

  • Rocks in my rocking chair
  • Shoves another student in the chest and yells, "Shut up!"
  • According to other students, says the "f word," the "d word" and the "h word"
  • Pushes past other students like they are bowling pins
  • Stands up on chairs
  • Hides in the closet
  • Throws himself to the ground, repeatedly
  • Rolls around on the ground
  • Somersaults
  • Cartwheels
  • Says, "Duh!" whenever someone else answers a question
  • Makes loud noises, randomly
  • Then tells other kids to shut up or be quiet
  • Fake farts
  • Throws index cards up in the air
  • Takes the caps off all the markers
  • Moves around all the magnets on the math word wall
  • Repeatedly sticks pencils into our broken pencil sharpener
  • Throws little bits of garbage at the other students and everywhere
In short, he is delightful! In the meantime, he has joined forces with another student, the closest he has come to a kindred spirit. This other student has, like, the worst case of undiagnosed ADD in the universe, and as much as I try to keep the two of them apart, somehow they always end up near each other. Actually, no matter where they are in the room, one of them will make a loud noise, and the other one will echo the same noise, and then my dominoes go falling around the room: first William, then Angelo, then Juan, then Kyle, then Jonathan.

Literally 90% of my energy every day is focused on these two boys, which is an epic shame because the rest of my class is perfectly lovely. Sure, I have some wrigglers and some whiners, and some kids who call out and some kids who have trouble focusing, but William and Angelo are the energy-suckers of the bunch. Meanwhile, the school pyschologist is doing his best to get William's referral going, but first the school needed to test his vision and hearing, and -- are you ready for this? -- William messed with them. Mr. D came back to report that the hearing test lady thought William was just being uncooperative. So I took him aside and we had the following conversation:

Miss Brave: "William, remember when Miss F came to test your hearing?"
William, smiling and looking away: "Yes, and I couldn't hear nothing."
Miss Brave: "Well, that's what we have to figure out, because Miss F thought maybe you were just being your silly William self and you weren't really giving it your best effort. So she's going to come back tomorrow and try again, and you have to give it your best effort, because if you don't, Mom has to take you to a hearing doctor and I don't think you'll enjoy that."
William: "Yes I will! It's fun!"

Seriously, though, if he fails the hearing test, Mr. D tells me it could take a long time to get him tested by a doctor -- a long time that he would spend in my classroom, doing worse than absolutely nothing.


peace in the classroom said...

I really hope for your sake that he passes the hearing test. I couldn't get a child evaluated for 2 years. Yes, I said 2 YEARS because she failed the vision and hearing tests and her parents didn't follow up. It's really sad because she spent 2 years in general ed. first grade and it turned out that she was "cognitively disabled" (i.e. IQ below 75) and needed a 12-1 setting.

Pigtailed Teacher said...

My heart goes out to you Miss Brave. We have a similar kid at my school and although he made some improvements in his behavior last year, his teacher this year still has to deal with him a lot! All his behavior problems make it hard to figure out what sort of academic problems he has. My co-worker is trying all she can not to be too stressed out by him. She's taken up running again, added plants to the classroom, and I think she was investing in some lavender air fresheners for her desk. All I can say is document William's behavior and your attempts to help him, and keep reaching out to others for support! Good luck.
Pigtailed Teacher

mrs_daisy said...

Uggghh that is so annoying...YOU know he can hear perfectly well and he is just messing with them! I had a child my first year who had a legitimate hearing issue (as in, like, couldn't distinguish anything without the assistance of hearing aids) and his mom flat-out would not take him to the doctor. The school's hearing person made appointments for her but she just never showed up. Finally the hearing person arranged for a school bus to come to our school to pick him (and me! I got to go as his chaperone! Wheeee!) up to take him to the hearing lady's office to get him all tested. Major pain because until we got all that done, nothing else could take place-no interventions, no aides, nada. Once he had the hearing test and we confirmed that he was, in fact, quite hearing impaired he was placed in a special class at a special school in less than a month. It took from September until February to get to that point. Going through the "proper channels?" Yeah, it SUCKS!